Seafarers have traditionally played an important role in world trade.
The Covid -19 pandemic generated tough working conditions, such as port access issues, repatriation issues, and crew changes.
Although the situation is still terrible for many seafarers. In 2020, the number of sailors abandoned reached new highs.
Too many seafarers have been unable to depart ships for periods beyond their contracts, and some have been unable to join the ship in order to make a living.
Despite these difficulties, sailors have gone above and beyond the "call of duty" to keep world trade flowing. This humanitarian crisis also jeopardises global trade and navigational safety.
In 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requested that the world recognise seafarers as "key workers," as described by a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December.
They are doing their part to support seafarers and give rights and protection.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said "We all must keep seafarers in our hearts and continue to take action that will return seafaring to normal practices for crew changes. Our 2021 day of the seafarer campaign builds on the progress we have made to support seafarers on pandemic-related challenges."
With the production of vaccines, more cooperation and focused efforts are needed to make vaccination easier for seafarers. However, seafarers have been affected not only by the pandemic, but their lives have also been jeopardised in other aspects.
"We will also place a special focus on seafarers well being, an area highlighted by the plight of seafarers during the covid pandemic. Let us focus on finding solutions and preparing for the post COVID world, a world in which sustainable shipping will play a crucial role ". Lim said
"We will also place a special focus on seafarers well being, an area highlighted by the plight of seafarers during the covid pandemic. Let us focus on finding solutions and preparing for the post COVID world, a world in which sustainable shipping will play a crucial role ". Lim added
"To ensure access to vaccines of those countries, I call on all IMO Member States to work together towards a fair global distribution, beyond fulfilling their national needs".Lim stressed.
This includes priority vaccination and ease of travel.The creation of numerous vaccines provides the first rays of optimism.
“The health of the world’s seafarers and the safety of their workplaces has to remain one of our main priorities and can only be guaranteed if industry and Member States continue to provide all necessary measures such as testing, appropriate PPE, access to medical care, and sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of the virus”, Mr. Lim said.
It aims to draw global attention to other areas where fairness is important. This includes a safe and secure environment on ships, reasonable working conditions, fair treatment in all situations.